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Hardware

ARM32 in Linux and Open Source Hardware Certification

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Linux
Hardware

  • ARM32 Page Tables

    As I continue to describe in different postings how the ARM32 start-up sequence works, it becomes necessary to explain in-depth the basic kernel concepts around page tables and how it is implemented on ARM32 platforms.

    To understand the paging setup, we need to repeat and extend some Linux paging lingo. Some good background is to read Mel Gormans description of the Linux page tables from his book “Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager”. This book was published in 2007 and is based on Mel’s PhD thesis from 2003. Some stuff has happened in the 13 years since then, but the basics still hold. It is necessary to also understand the new layers in the page tables such as the five layers of page tables currently used in the Linux kernel.

    First a primer: the ARM32 architecture with a classic MMU has 2 levels of page tables and the more recent LPAE (Large Physical Address Extension) MMU has 3 levels of page tables.

    Only some of the ARMv7 architectures have LPAE, and it is only conditionally enabled, i.e. the machines can also use the classic MMU if they want, they have both. It is not enabled by default on the multi_v7 configuration: your machine has to explicitly turn it on during compilation. The layout is so different that the same binary image can never support both classic and LPAE MMU in the same kernel image.

  • Announcing the Open Source Hardware Certification API – Open Source Hardware Association

    Today we are excited to announce the launch of a read/write API for our Open Source Hardware Certification program. This API will make it easier to apply for certification directly from where you already document your hardware, as well as empower research, visualizations, and explorations of currently certified hardware.

    OSHWA’s Open Source Hardware Certification program has long been an easy way for creators and users alike to identify hardware that complies with the community definition of open source hardware. Since its creation in 2016, this free program has certified hardware from over 45 countries on every continent except Antarctica. Whenever you see the certification logo on hardware:

Module and dev kit run Linux on QCS610 camera SoC

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Linux
Hardware

Lantronix has launched an “Open-Q 610 μSOM” module and $995 dev kit that run Linux on Qualcomm’s camera-focused, AI-enabled octa-core QCS610 SoC with triple 4-lane MIPI-CSI interfaces.

The Intrinsyc division of Lantronix has announced a tiny Open-Q 610 μSOM compute module and Open-Q 610 μSOM Development Kit that run Yocto Linux on a new Qualcomm QCS610 SoC aimed at smart camera applications. Camera features include staggered HDR, lens de-warp, dual camera stitching, image de-fog, and 360-degree panoramic views. The kit is available starting at $995, with shipments due in November.

Read more

Also: Coffee Lake 3.5-inch SBC has up to three GbE ports

Open Hardware Projects With Arduino

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Development
Hardware
  • Arduino Blog » Transform a pile of clothing into the robot of your nightmares

    While whatever you heard bump in the night was probably nothing to be concerned about, if you see a suspicious blob of clothing on the floor, you might give it another look. Although not particularly dangerous, YouTuber “Sciencish” has come up with a robot that causes a pile of clothes to turn and face, then travel towards the light source you used to check it out.

    The device features four photoresistors, along with an Arduino Uno and two steppers on a robotic chassis for movement. It also accommodates a filament or wire frame on which clothing can rest. When a light is shined at it, the LDRs pick up this “signal” through the clothes. The robot then waits until the lights are off, pauses a bit more, and then rotates to face the person and incrementally advances.

  • Arduino Blog » Say hello to the new Arduino Oplà IoT Kit: Experience the Internet of Things in your hands!

    We’re excited to announce the launch of the Arduino Oplà Kit, the first open programmable IoT platform that allows you to add smart connectivity to the devices around your home or workplace and build custom IoT devices.

    The Oplà IoT Kit contains all the hardware necessary to create eight connected applications, access to an online platform with assembly instructions, and a 12-month subscription to the Arduino Create Maker Plan. This kit is perfect for beginners with basic DIY experience, while more advanced users can leverage it to customize and hack their smart applications and devices, with full control of their data and processes.

Corsair Power Supplies May Soon See Sensor Support Exposed Under Linux

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Linux
Hardware

Select high-end Corsair power supplies such as their RMi / HXi / AXi series are able to expose various sensor metrics via USB interface to the system. To date this sensor functionality has only worked under Windows with their proprietary software but now an open-source driver is seeking mainline inclusion for supporting these sensors under Linux.

Independent developer Wilken Gottwalt reverse-engineered the micro-controller found on the Corsair RMi/HXi/AXi power supplies and found it to be a proprietary but simple USB HID protocol. The controller exposes temperatures, current, and voltage levels along with other information like power uptime, power used, and power supply fan speed. This protocol on select models can also allow configuring the fan mode and mono/multi-rail voltage handling, and over-current protection.

Read more

Also: Qualcomm QCS610 micro SoM and devkit to power AI and ML smart cameras

Chinese Laptop Featuring New 14nm Loongsoon 3A4000 CPU Appears

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Due to this laptop being in the Chinese market, Windows is not supported at all. It only runs Chinese "domestic operating systems" that are typically modified versions of Linux. Fortunately, this does mean you can install any Linux flavor you want on the laptop, which can be handy if you don't want to run China-specific apps only.

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Modberry 500 CM4 DIN Rail Industrial Computer Features Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

We’ve been writing about Techbase Modberry industrial embedded computers with DIN-Rail enclosures such as Modberry M500 or M2000 for several years. Most of their systems are powered by SBC’s like Raspberry Pi 4 or AAEON Up Squared, but they’ve also made models based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+, and with the launch of Raspberry Pi CM4, the company has now introduced Modberry 500 CM4 industrial computer powered by Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with up to 8GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash.

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Devices/Embedded: Arduino and More

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Hardware

       

  • Arduino Blog » Driving a mini RC bumper car with a Nintendo Wii Balance Board

    Taking inspiration from Colin Furze’s 600cc bumper car constructed a few years ago, Henry Forsyth decided to build his own RC miniature version. His device features a 3D-printed and nicely-painted body, along with a laser-cut chassis that holds the electrical components.

    The vehicle is driven by a single gearmotor and a pair of 3D-printed wheels, with another caster-style wheel that’s turned left and right by a servo steering. An Arduino Uno and Bluetooth shield are used for overall control with a motor driver.

    The Bluetooth functionality allows for user interface via a PS4 controller, or even (after a bit of programming) a Wii Balance Board. In the end, the PS4 remote seems to be the better control option, but who knows where else this type of balance technique could be employed?

  • Intel Elkhart Lake COM’s offer up to 3x 2.5GbE, SIL2 functional safety
  • E3K all-in-one wireless bio-sensing platform supports EMG, ECG, and EEG sensors (Crowdfunding)

    Over the year, The maker community has designed several platforms to monitor vital signs with boards like Healthy Pi v4 or HeartyPatch both of which are powered by an ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth wireless SoC. WallySci has designed another all-in-one wireless bio-sensing platform, called E3K, that also happens to be powered by Espressif Systems ESP32 chip, and can be connected to an electromyography (EMG) sensor to capture muscle movements, an electrocardiography (ECG) sensor to measure heart activity, and/or an electroencephalography (EEG) sensor to capture brain activity. The board also has an extra connector to connect a 9-axis IMU to capture motion.

  • Coffee Lake system can expand via M.2, mini-PCIe, PCIe, and Xpansion

    MiTac’s fanless, rugged “MX1-10FEP” embedded computer has an 8th or 9th Gen Coffee Lake Core or Xeon CPU plus 3x SATA bays, 4x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 2x M.2, 2x mini-PCIe, and optional PCIe x16 and x1.

    MiTac recently introduced a Coffee Lake based MX1-10FEP computer that is also being distributed by ICP Germany. This month, ICP announced that the MX1-10FEP-D model with PCIe x16 and PCIe x1 slots has been tested and classified by Nvidia as “NGC Ready” for Nvidia GPU Cloud graphics boards such as the Nvidia T4 and Tesla P4.

    [...]

    The MX1-10FEP has an Intel C246 chipset and defaults to Windows 10 with Linux on request.

Devices/Embedded: ClearFog, Turing Pi 2, RasPi and Arduino

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Hardware

  • ClearFog CX CN9K Mini-ITX 10GbE/5GbE networking SBC runs Linux or FreeBSD

    Last year, SolidRun introduced ClearFog CX LX2X networking single board computer offering up to 100GbE via NXP LX2160A 16-core Cortex-A72 communication processor that followed ClearFog CX 8K  ARMADA 8040 networking board launched the year before.

    The Israeli company is now working on two ClearFog CX CN9K networking SBC’s powered by CEx7 CN913x system-on-module featuring Marvell Octeon TX2 CN913x quad-core Cortex-A72 processor and offering multi-gigabit Ethernet with various 10Gbps, 5Gbps, and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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  • Turing Pi 2 announcemen

                       

    Today we are thrilled to announce the Turing Pi V2. We’ve been collecting a massive amount of information, synthesizing all of it in product variations, and thinking about what steps we should do next. Today we are going to announce only some of the fundamental details about the V2. We are still working on checking some of the hypotheses, but believe me, the other parts of the announcement will be exciting too. We will disclose more closer to opening orders.

                      After we released the original 7 nodes Turing Pi, we had many questions. What to do next, how to increase the product’s value, what compute modules to choose, how many nodes, etc. We decided to determine the minimal cluster block size with options to connect hard drives and extension boards. The cluster block should be a self-sustained base node and with ample scope of scale. Next, we wanted the minimum cluster blocks to have an option to connect and form cluster federations and, at the same time, be cost-efficient and easy to scale. The speed of scale should be higher than connecting regular computers on the network and cheaper than the typical server hardware. Another thing, the minimum cluster units should be compact enough, mobile, energy-efficient, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. This is one of the key differences between server racks and everything related to them. 
                         

  • Turing Pi 2

                     

                       

    Turing Pi is a compact ARM cluster that provides a secure and scalable compute in the edge. It is designed to make web-scale edge computing easier for developers. Turing Pi cluster architecture allows you to migrate and sync web apps with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of the edge infrastructure and improves reliability.

  • New Chair and Trustees of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

             

  • Arduino Blog » Upgrade your flight sim setup with Tom Stanton’s floor-mounted joystick

    Most joysticks sit on your desktop, allowing you to control flight sims and other such games with a bit more realism than a keyboard and mouse. YouTuber Tom Stanton, however, decided to take things to the next level by creating one that pivots from the floor out of aluminum extrusion and 3D-printed parts.

Turing Pi 2 clusters four Raspberry Pi CM4 modules

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Hardware

Turing Machines unveiled a “Turin Pi 2” Mini-ITX board that clusters 4x Raspberry Pi CM4 modules with a Layer-2 managed switch along with 2x GbE, 4x USB, 2x mini-PCIe, and 2x SATA 3.0.

Turing Machines Inc., which earlier this month announced a final 1K run of its Turing Pi cluster board, announced a second-gen Turing Pi 2. Due to ship in 2021, the board offers 4x nodes to cluster Raspberry Pi Compute Modules, compared to 7x for the original Turing Pi. The Gen2 design supports the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and is equipped with additional interfaces, including 2x mini-PCIe and 2x SATA 3.0.

Read more

Open Hardware: Turing Pi 2, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino

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Hardware
  • Turing Pi 2 mini-ITX cluster board takes four Raspberry Pi Compute Modules 4

    Can you remember Turing Pi mini-ITX cluster board taking up to 7 Raspberry Pi Compute Modules launched last year? Honestly, I had forgotten about it until I was asked this morning is Gumstix CM4 to CM3 adapter could be used to replace Compute Modules 3 with Compute Modules 4 in the cluster board. When I went to Turing Pi website to have a look at the board, I discovered the company had made an announcement about Turing Pi 2 cluster board specifically designed to take up to four Raspberry Pi CM4 modules.

  • Raspberry Pi CM3+ based DIN-railer features isolated I/O module

    STV Electronic has launched an “I/O Module 16” extension for its Raspberry Pi CM3+ based “Smart Manager 4.0” DIN rail PC featuring configurable, isolated DIO. Up to 8x modules with 128 I/Os can be controlled from a single system.

    We missed the Embedded World announcement in early March from German embedded vendor STV Electronic, introducing a Smart Manager 4.0 DIN-rail computer based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. This week, the company announced an IO Module 16 add-on for the system, which is designed for industrial control and building automation.

  • Arduino Blog » Gigantic pumpkin dispenses candy at the push of a button

    YouTuber Brankly is going to be giving out candy in style this Halloween. Or, more accurately, his automated pumpkin system is going to take care of the task for him.

    His large fake jack-o’-lantern sits atop a hilariously smaller skeleton body, and hides inside a servo-driven turntable dispensing mechanism. As it rotates, treats are pushed out of a tongue-like slide mechanism, where it’s detected by two infrared sensors. This detection stops (and reverses) the dispensing plate, while the bowl in front illuminates.

  • Arduino Blog » Minimal metal detector made with an Arduino and a coil of wire

    For an easy DIY metal detector setup, look no further than this project by creator “rgco.” 

    The handheld device uses a 20-60 turn coil of 26AWG enameled wire, connected across an Arduino Uno or Nano’s pins 8 and 10. A series of pulses is continuously sent out by pin 10, which are delayed in reaching pin 8 according to the inductance across the coil. As this coil approaches other metallic objects, the effective inductance changes, thus varying the delay in the signal reaching pin 10.

    This effect is sensed by the Arduino, outputting chirps on a buzzer as audio feedback when metal is nearby. To convert it into a practical device, the Nano configuration is stuffed into a Tic Tac container, with the coil held at a distance with two skewer sticks.

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Leaving Mozilla and Recalling One's Job in Mozilla

  • yoric.steps.next()

    The web is getting darker. It is being weaponized by trolls, bullies and bad actors and, as we’ve witnessed, this can have extremely grave consequences for individuals, groups, sometimes entire countries. So far, most of the counter-measures proposed by either governments or private actors are even scarier. The creators of the Matrix protocol have recently published the most promising plan I have seen. One that I believe stands a chance of making real headway in this fight, while respecting openness, decentralization, open-source and privacy. I have been offered the opportunity to work on this plan. For this reason, after 9 years as an employee at Mozilla, I’ll be moving to Element, where I’ll try and contribute to making the web a better place. My last day at Mozilla will be October 30th.

  • Working open source | daniel.haxx.se

    I work full time on open source and this is how. Background I started learning how to program in my teens, well over thirty years ago and I’ve worked as a software engineer and developer since the early 1990s. My first employment as a developer was in 1993. I’ve since worked for and with lots of companies and I’ve worked on a huge amount of (proprietary) software products and devices over many years. Meaning: I certainly didn’t start my life open source. I had to earn it. When I was 20 years old I did my (then mandatory) military service in Sweden. After having endured that, I applied to the university while at the same time I was offered a job at IBM. I hesitated, but took the job. I figured I could always go to university later – but life took other turns and I never did. I didn’t do a single day of university. I haven’t regretted it. [...]    I’d like to emphasize that I worked as a contract and consultant developer for many years (over 20!), primarily on proprietary software and custom solutions, before I managed to land myself a position where I could primarily write open source as part of my job. [...] My work setup with Mozilla made it possible for me to spend even more time on curl, apart from the (still going) two daily spare time hours. Nobody at Mozilla cared much about (my work with) curl and no one there even asked me about it. I worked on Firefox for a living. For anyone wanting to do open source as part of their work, getting a job at a company that already does a lot of open source is probably the best path forward. Even if that might not be easy either, and it might also mean that you would have to accept working on some open source projects that you might not yourself be completely sold on. In late 2018 I quit Mozilla, in part because I wanted to try to work with curl “for real” (and part other reasons that I’ll leave out here). curl was then already over twenty years old and was used more than ever before.